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Apr 8, 2009

WINGS Asked to Help with National Cervical Cancer Screening Initiative!

In a surprising move that hopefully demonstrates a new commitment to women’s health issues, Guatemala’s Ministry of Health recently launched an initiative that aims to screen 85% of reproductive-age women in Guatemala for cervical cancer by 2012. The initiative is bold and necessary, as cervical cancer is a deadly killer in Guatemala. According the World Health Organization, cervical cancer affects more Guatemalan women annually than breast, stomach, or ovarian cancer. Cervical cancer also has the highest mortality rate of any cancer in Guatemala, including those affecting men, despite being one of the most easily detectable and easily treatable (when caught early) types of cancer. In Guatemala, only 40% of women have ever received a pap smear, and the vast majority of those who have been tested at least once do not receive screening on a regular basis.

In recognition of the successful efforts of WINGS’ Cervical Cancer program, the Ministry of Health has asked WINGS to help in reaching their ambitious goal. In 2009, WINGS will participate in four trainings with a local partner organization, Faith in Practice, in which WINGS staff will help train government health service providers and other NGOs on the VIA/Cryo method that WINGS currently utilizes. Unlike pap smears, visual inspection of the cervix with acetic acid (VIA) allows for an instant diagnosis, a benefit which is crucial in a country where even a single trip to a doctor can be too costly in time and money for many women. And, when VIA is paired with cryotherapy treatment (CRYO), almost half of women who show pre-cancerous lesions can obtain same-day treatment.

On behalf of the team here at WINGS and the thousands of Guatemalans that benefit from your contributions, thank you! We are grateful for your support.

Apr 8, 2009

“A Million Other Things That Many Of Us Take For Granted”


This is the second in a series of snapshots about project leader Laurel White and her organization WINGS.

Thank you for your continued support of Laurel and her tireless dedication to providing rural and indigenous Guatemalans with access to short and long-term family planning methods. We ask you to contribute again today! Feel free to tell your friends about Laurel and her incredible work!


“A Million Other Things That Many Of Us Take For Granted”

Guatemala’s fertility rate, at 4.4, is the highest in Latin America, and a Guatemalan woman is 14 times more likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth than a woman in the United States. WINGS is helping Guatemalan men and women escape these statistics. “Every single day, lives are changed by giving men and women control over their reproductive lives,” says WINGS Development Officer Laurel White. “In a country where the poorest fifth of the population averages eight children per family and half of children are malnourished, having one less child, or delaying pregnancy for six months, a year, or five years means a little extra food on the table or a enough money to send a child to school for an extra year or a million other things that many of us take for granted.”

Laurel first traveled to Guatemala two and a half years ago to take a six week Spanish language course. While she was there, she fell in love with the people and culture. She returned to live and work permanently for WINGS in Guatemala after listening to WINGS founder Sue Patterson speak about the important work of the program.

If you were to go visit Laurel and the rest of the WINGS team in Guatemala, they would show you firsthand how their program improves the lives of the beneficiaries.

“We’d take you to one our family planning talks, so you could meet firsthand the men and women who benefit from WINGS," Laurel says. "You will learn that these men and women have often never been given accurate information about reproductive health or family planning by their schools or families. You will see how appreciative these men and women are to have the option of taking control of their reproductive lives. You will understand why $10 or $20 or $50 can make a huge difference and change lives for the better.”

Feb 24, 2009

It’s not about “right” and “wrong”


Please welcome Laurel White. She is a new project leader here at GlobalGiving and over the past few weeks we have had the opportunity to get to know her and the great work she does for her organization WINGS.

Periodically over the next two months we will be sending you snapshots about Laurel’s life and work. We encourage your feedback about this new form of progress update so that we can provide you with the most interesting and relevant information possible about the projects and causes you support.

We thank you for your contributions and ask you to consider donating again to Laurel and WINGS. Feel free to tell your friends about this incredible project!

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It’s not about “right” and “wrong”

We are proud to introduce WINGS Development Officer Laurel White who works in the organization’s Antigua, Guatemala office. “I’m proud to come to work every day for an organization that is passionate about improving lives in a way that is culturally respectful and sensitive,” says Laurel. “The goal of our organization is to increase knowledge and provide options for people, rather than dictate what is a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ choice. At the end of the day, we hope to empower people to plan their families in the way that is best for them.” WINGS provides information, financial resources, and access to reproductive health services for low-income, rural, and indigenous Guatemalans. These services include reproductive health education, cervical cancer detection and treatment, and peer education for adolescents. Funds raised through GlobalGiving have been used to subsidize various family planning methods (including birth control pills, Jadelle implants, tubal ligations, and vasectomies) for men and women who could not otherwise afford the cost.

Increased giving would allow WINGS to expand its geographical coverage to meet the incredible unmet need for family planning and reproductive health services in Guatemala.

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